Industry's Role in Protection of Environment

By Chaudhry, M. H. | Economic Review, June 1991 | Go to article overview

Industry's Role in Protection of Environment


Chaudhry, M. H., Economic Review


Industry's role in Protection of Environment

The contemporary civilization is characterized by an exceedingly fast development of science and technology. The outstanding achievements in various fields have as a consequence resulted in the creation of big industrial centers in many countries with production, satisfying the ever increasing needs of the global population.

Although amazing achievements have been obtained in the contemporary industry, its rapid development stirs up greater and greater anxiety, because the industrial enterprises constitute a source of negative phenomena menacing health or even creating a serious danger to life. The phenomena which at this moment concern more and more the specialists, are the air pollution and the surface water pollution which appear with a particular intensity in the big urban agglomerations as a result of significant concentration of industries.

Air and water pollution brings about not only damages of great social significance but also losses of an economical feature which can be more or less estimated in money. Such losses get an ever increasing significance in the economy of highly industrialized countries because they cannot be omitted when the consequences caused by the influence of the negative phenomena accompanying the development of the contemporary industry is analysed. This concern in the recent past has, however, started getting attention in the developing countries of the world. The present state of environment in the country much like other development and third world countries is dismal and causes can be briefly stated as:

The rapid depletion of renewal resources without significant efforts for the development of alternative resources. Depletion of renewable resources through deforestation, loss of genetic diversity, wildlife, pastures, rangelands soil erosion, salination and waterlogging. Increasing threat to environment and natural health from industrial effluents, toxic wastes, pesticides, chemicals poor sanitation and garbage disposal. Absence of environmental awareness, education and training, lack of enforcement of existing laws relating to the environment and inadequate coordination efforts at different levels.

In Pakistan more than 60 per cent of the land has either already or is likely to be affected by the desertification. The suspended sediment load/KM sq. of drainage basin in the country is one of the largest in the world. This is a clear indicator of the intensity of soil erosion which has affected as much as 1.2 million hectares of land so far. Salt effected soil are estimated to be 4.2 million hectares while another 2 million hectares are water-logged. Though much of the initial thrust on the environmental issues was based on concern about natural resources preservation and pollution control, but now this concern has brought a new dimension to the issue by emphasizing the correlation between environment and economic development.

Most of the industries developed in this country have unfortunately given little attention to the control and management of their industrial wastewaters and gaseous omissions. At present the liquid industrial wastes are either discharged into natural bodies of water without proper treatment or applied to land without scientific and technical considerations.

Industrial waste waters when discharged untreated into water bodies result in serious water pollution. the most serious result is the threat to human health that it causes, which alone makes it essential that the industrial wastes be effectively treated. A few industries such as tanneries and slaughterhouses some times discharge wastes containing bacteria.

In addition to their hazardous effects on human health, the industrial waste discharges exert significant impact on streams resulting in deterioration of their water quality and subsequent use in terms of aesthetic aspects, economy and ecology. …

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